Rancho Bernardo Inn
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Saturday morning started around 8:30 when our driver came and picked us up at the house and brought us to the airport. We flew JetBlue, LOVE them! We departed Sac at 10:50 and the flight wasn't full and very laid back. Our flight attendant, John, was great. Him and Amare became fast friends and Amare earned yet another set of wings. John brought us …
... waiting, but they left us alone, and we them. Our bus driver eventually showed up (the bus had been there all along), and beckoned us in as she finished stuffing a breakfast sandwich into her face. The bus took us through the city and slightly out of it, and headed through Balboa park, the city's largest green space. We knew the zoo was in the park, so as soon as we saw signs for it, we hopped off the bus, and soon discovered that we had been a little ...
... as well as something to cook on the grill. It was a nice, relaxing evening on the patio. We played cards, reminisced a bit, talked about her future a bit, etc. Sandy came home and joined us, along with a neighbor and dear friend, BJ. We spoke with Daniel about coming to SD and he wasn't certain when he would be here. It was raining in Valencia and 6 lane highways are no fun and downright dangerous in ...
... that Tim brought back with him for lunch and then headed out to do some errands. Jess and Lily went to the Post Office (major excitement that one) and Tim and Eli went to Mastercuts for a severely overdue hairrcut and tidy-up. We then made the 5 minute drive to Trader Joe's where we bought enough food and supplies for the next several days of camping and came back to the hotel. Dinner and a preliminary pack of the car tonight ...
... said we wanted to go to Tijuana for the day, he said " I take it you want a passport stamp then" we said yes please and we were in Mexico, we got a taxi from the border to the centre of Tijuana for $5, we had a walk around the shops, Elaine got her photo taken on a Zonkey which is really a donkey painted black and white like a zebra for a $1 and we got the taxi back to the border, whilst there was no queue going into Mexico ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
- Swimming pool
- Room service
- Free High-Speed Internet
- Fitness/Health center
- Wheelchair accessibility
Historical Traveler Reviews Rancho Bernardo Inn San Diego
Not a 4 or 5 star at all!!
We stayed here in July 2004 for the 4th of July weekend. The hotel is tucked away in a residential neighborhood, and about a 25 minute drive via highway from all the tourist activities. We actually liked the location. The grounds are nicely kept, and it appears the resort caters to golfers and people 55+. It just puts you in the mind of a snobby golf club. The lobby has rustic décor, which was nice, but there was a really odd distinct smell in the lobby area. I could not tell if it was a musty smell because it rained or eggs, but it was right in the lobby area for the entire weekend. The front desk people were kind of snobby, but after we talked and made friendly conversation, they came down off their high horse a little. The room was only OK. It was very clean and well kept; it was just not very modern looking. This seems to be an older hotel that went through a renovation or something. I believe all rooms have access to a Jacuzzi, ours would not get hot and we called the front desk several times to come fix it. They said they were sending someone, but no one ever came. The parking fee was $12 a day. I got the hotel through Hotwire for $86 a day, but with the additional fees it can out to be just average price. I would not stay here again; it was just no bid deal. I can't remember if this is a 4 or 5 star rated hotel, but I would give it a 3. It's really no big deal for the price; you might as well stay closer to the attractions and stay in a popular 3 star chain.
Nice place for the price
Booked our room here through Hotwire. Once we found out the name of the property we checked it out on the web and it looked nice online. It is located on a golf course in the middle of a residential neighborhood and it has that country club look and feel. The desk staff was very courteous and professional and the entire place was clean and well maintained. I would guess post WWII construction but not modern by any stretch. Our room had a king sized bed and was nicely furnished and it was a decent size. We were charged an additional daily 12 dollar resort fee which was a surprise. It was to cover unlimited local phone calls, high speed interent access (wired ethernet), daily newspaper, fitness center, etc. They said they used to charge individually for these services and now they charge a flat "resort" fee. We used the phone and high speed web. Not sure if you can decline the fee if you don't plan on using any of the services. They also charge 10 dollars for parking per night. Their lot was not huge but considering the rural setting I thought the fee was a bit high. We did not use the restaurant though it looked nice (and expensive). We went to the pool one morning and it was well kept. All in all this was a very nice place. Not a family place. Seemed like lots of small business meetings and conferences were going on. Pretty upscale crowd for the most part and of course golfers. Lots of business suits. For the price I paid...around 75 dollars a night...you can't go wrong..... A little snooty and stiff but it beats Motel6.
Not too bad, though certainly not the peaceful oasis it's marketed as.
Checkout time is a bizarre 1pm - so don't expect to be able to get in your room before 4pm if you turn up early. Stayed in an upgraded golf course view room - no great shakes, about average for a half-decent Best Western. Screen door wouldn't shut, no head board on the bed. Nice bathroom though. Service a bit slack - had to wait nearly an hour for a bottle opener to arrive before tackling the minibar.
However, El Bizcocho restaurant was superb - though the insistence on gentlemen wearing a jacket & tie in Southern California in August smacks of the worst kind of faux "fine dining".
Generally, the hotel staff seemed overwhelmed. Two large wedding parties and throngs of golfing daytrippers take their toll on manpower I imagine. Had to wait 45 minutes for a table just to have breakfast.
And beware "Camp RBI" on summer weekends - the place is packed with kids having organised poolside activities.
Finally, a $12 resort fee will be added "for your convenience" - covering use of the exercise facilities, a daily newspaper and some local calls, stuff that most hotels provide for free. A bit like those Blackpool guesthouses who charge for hot water.
A Wonderful Vacation Experience
Staying at the Rancho Bernardo Inn was a wonderful experience. It was definitely one of the most peaceful and idyllic vacation spots I have ever visited. I reserved the room for five days through a discount online broker but I was treated like a regular high paying guest. The entire staff was courteous, knowledgable and attentive without being intrusive.
The minute I drove onto the grounds, the hustle and bustle of the real world melted away. The grounds, fountains and gardens were well kept and provided wonderful scenery. Everything about the place exuded old world charm and seemed to belong to a different more serene time.
The room was spacious rustic and very clean. The only thing that seemed out of place was my laptop and the DSL hookup. The food was expensive, but I didn't dine on the premises. There were plenty of places in the area to eat.
I look forward to a return visit.
Not worth the price
We booked a two day getaway to the Rancho Bernardo Inn & purchased the "Stay and Play" package (with taxes included - this cost over $500 per night). The main lobby was quite quaint and welcoming but the room and spa were very modest - the least amount of amenities I have ever encountered in either.
Bottom line - it wasn't worth the $1000 we spent. Besides the main restaurant - neither the accomodations nor the service felt first class.
Be sure to check your bill - even though we purchased a package, we were charged the full price for dinner & the spa treatment.
OK if you can get a discounted rate
We booked thru a discount travel site, and were very excited about going there. When we went to the desk to check in, everyone was extremely courteous until they pulled up our reservation and saw that we booked thru the discount site. It was all down hill from there. We had to wait over 2 hours for a room. I had requested that we be as close to the "family" pool as possible, but when we were given our room, we were in the back building. The room was ok. The sliding doors into the bathroom are heavy and awkward. The cleanliness was a fair. There were numerous staples on the floor even though we were told that the carpeting had just been shampooed. The pool was fair. It seemed like they never swept around the pool area, and we always saw cigarette butts on the ground. We ate in the restaurant for brunch, it was pricey but good. Our room was not cleaned right one day, and the maid had left our sliding glass door open. Luckily nothing was missing. Overall, if I had paid full price for this hotel, I would have been very upset. However, for the $72 per nite, it had good highway access and comfortable accommadations.
Delicious place. We went there during Christmas vacations 2002-04 with a family of 4 (13 and 4 y). We negociated a very nice package witth breakfast include and enjoyed our wonderful stay. The place is lovely, people is incredibly gentle and nice, restaurant delicious, swimming pools and spa terrific, and the whole place is nicely maintained with lots of flowers and plantations. The concierge was the most experienced, nice and committed I ever met through all my business travels in many five stars hotels. Restaurant area is wonderful with a view on the golf course. Lovely pleace. Rooms are nice and clean. Our balcony was opening over the swimming pool and was cool and peaceful. Room service and maids are nice and efficient. The business center let us use internet and Email access for free for the whole stay! The surroundings of th inn are very nice and peaceful. A wonderful and delicious experience, highly recommeded.
Good Place, Horrible People At Golf Shop
This place is great, overall, but it has some serious downsides. First, let me say that all the staff at the front desk and concierge were extremely knowledgable and helpful. The rooms were great (even though my internet didn't work and they had no idea on how to fix it) and the bathrooms were very nice. The grounds were picture perfect and the whole property is loaded with charm. However, my wife and I went there on a vacation package we got through USA gold holidays (which is an awesome site if you love golf) and we were at the hotel on their golf "stay and play" package. We quickly found out, however, that despite the overall beauty of the course, the people at the pro-shop and those in charge of play are elitist jackasses. Let me tell you, the second you walk in the door, you realize that you are second to any club member. You will be ignored by the staff and avoided at all costs.
Numerous times, I went in there and was ignored. I waited patiently, only to be questioned by the staff as to my sincerity as to whether I was, indeed, on the golf package. I was met with rudeness by a guy named "Jeff" twice. First, he made my wife feel terrible because he, at first, refuse to give her more than one range token. He said this was because the range "only has one size bucket", despite the fact that ever other time before that, the person at the desk "surrendered" two tokens per person. My wife informed him of that and his response was "whatever" and reluctancly handed over a couple more tokens. The next time I came in to the shop to confirm my tee time, I noticed Mr. Jeff was again at the desk. I stood and waited for a couple minutes. Jeffers was on the phone. He turned around when he finished his talk, saw me standing there, turned back around, dialed another number, and began a new conversation. I had to wait another couple minutes before another jerk from the back came and hassled me about the form of my voucher before finally allowing me my starter ticket. I might expect to be looked down upon by club members with gold bars in tow, but I don't appreciate some club employee, who's only claim to fame is that he talks to rich people all day, biting his thumb at me when I'm the one who paid to come and play at that course. When we went to the front desk to get directions to a downtown San Diego attraction, we brought up the whole incident, and the lady at the desk said that they get complaints about the pro shop all the time. I cannot complain enough about the people in that shop. The course marshalls, starters, rangers, etc. were ALL wonderful. But the jerks at the pro shop ruined the golfing experience.
I would have rated this course MUCH higher but for the pro-shop staff.
(Especially Mr. "Jeff"). Those who go there for the spa, or just to relax, it is a wonderful place to visit (we got massages too). However, all of those who are going there to golf, unless you've recently dropped the coin to become a Rancho member, don't expect any courtesy.
Not as posh as advertised
Due to our bussy schedules I booked a quick one day getaway to the Rancho bernardo Inn. I really wanted this to be an especial day out for my wife and our five month old baby.We booked a "Stay and Play" package. It included our room, two personal massages and the dinner and breakfast for $100 extra. A total of $445 for the night. As you first arrive to the property you feel as if two years have been lifted off your back. The tall trees and the quaintness of the Inn itself are welcoming to the eyes. But everything changes as soon as you walk in through the front door. The first impression is that of a charming period quaintiness but soon you realize that the place is just plain old and in major need or rejuvenating. The staff knew that we were bringing our baby along and was kind enough to check us in around noon (usual check in is 4pm). We were given, as requested a room with a king size bed. However, unbeknown to us, the room was located in the upstairs portion of a building with no elevator. Now, with a baby, the obligatory baby gear and more importantly a stroller, the room was definitelly not a good fit. Our window was also looking straight into an overhead walkway that connected our building to the next so anyone walking by had a straight line of sight into our room. Out went the feeling of privacy usually associated with a romantic getaway. Our room was very average if not old and the bathroom had no personality whatsoever. Walking around the property, after a lot of embarrasing maneuvering to get the stroller down the stairs, we found it extremely over built. There was no place you could go where you felt like you were away on a vacation. The concrete walkways were covered with leaves and dust that no one cared to swip during our stay. Because we were looking forward to taking our baby for her first day at a pool I made a point out of asking if there was a heated pool before I reserved. I was informed that not only they had two heated pools but one of them was a child pool and had a side jacuzzi as well. Once there, we painfully found out that the kid's pool's heating was off and the water too cold so we couldn't use it. On the other hand, the jacuzzi was extremely hot, even for the adults. I left a message with engineering to let them know but never got a return call. Dinner was the best part of our trip.
We very much enjoyed our time at El Bizcocho, the inn's fine restaurant with a couple of caviats. The restaurant is a Jacket-required venue, a little fact that was not indicate to at the time of reservation. They do have jackets available for sorry patrons like myself who must endure two uncomfortable hours of wearing someone else's clothing; another completely unromantic situation that was agravated by the fact that it was hot in the room to start with. the second problem came with the bill. Supposedly the way the package works is, and this is where I found out, that you pay the additional $100 dollars at reservation and your food is free but you must still pay for your alcohol at the time of dinner (expected) plus all taxes including the foods. Well, since I also paid for the taxes on the initial $100 for the dinner plan it seems that I have been charged all my food taxes twice, doesn't it? The spa was fine, except that it was too small and it had a poorly thought out retail section at the reception area. As I was escorted from one treatment to the next walking through it in my robe I felt as if I was walking half-naked through the sportswear section at a K-mart. Again, not your most relaxing or romantic experience. The following morning we had breakfast at the Veranda restaurant, a too cool name for an average breakfast room. Looking out the window we had a glorious view of, you guess it, a construction site. Yet another bit of information that the reservations agent curiously left out a couple of days earlier. It was dusty, dumpy and very dificult to navigate with a stroller. All said and told, the stay was a complete disaster. By the time we left the Inn our bill had nearly doubled to the mid eight hundreds and I was just as rested, read tired, as when I arrived. Thankfully, the baby is too young to ever remember and hold this against me and my wife is too nice to say she didn't like it. I won't tell you what to do but I am surely never going back.
Refined, peaceful retreat
What a lovely surprise! This tranquil retreat is beautifully laid out, the grounds are just lovely with fountains, large balconies for the rooms, hills, wood benches throughout and of course the golf view. The fancier of the two on-site restaurants, El Bizcocho, is I think the most beautifully laid out that I have seen in Southern California, where I live. It is also an incredible value: I had a 4-course menu for $55 and everything was outstanding! The crowd is mature, the service is perfect. I go to many 4-5 star resorts but this one has a special soul, particularly enhanced by the interesting collection of objects and statues in the expansive lobby. My 2-year ld daughter loved the rabbits that run around. There were one bridal shower, one wedding and one anniversary being celebrated while we were there, which told me others felt this is a special place too.